Studio Shooters 2016 was a hit!

We just wrapped up our fourth annual Studio Shooters pet photography workshop and had a great group of photographers sharing ideas and learning.  We covered so many different techniques that I know they left with their heads spinning — but hopefully we de-mystified some of the behind the scenes work that goes in to photographing dogs in the studio.

With a variety of backgrounds (thank you, Intuition Backgrounds for donating one of their awesome designs as a door prize) and lighting systems, each attendee can now choose the system that fits their needs. Whether it’s a portable set up that travels to client’s homes or studio strobes that live in a permanent creative space — they all got experience and can now choose which system they will focus on.  And now, without fear — they are UNLEASHED to be even more creative with light.

Thanks to everyone for their willingness to look at things in a different way and share.

pit bull portraits teresa berg

Four seats left to our Studio Shooters Workshop: July 8-10

Our annual Studio Shooters workshop is right around the corner and we’ve got a great group of photographers flying in from around the country to explore creating light. In this world of “everybody’s a photographer” it’s more important than every to differentiate yourself from the crowd.  Studio lighting doesn’t just happen in a studio –it applies to many lighting situations and is what will set you apart from all the hobbyists in your area. And that’s the name of the game. Setting yourself apart. One of my favorite quotes is from Steve Martin (the comedian) who says, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

For me, that meant developing skills that other photographers in my area didn’t have. Interesting and creative ways of using light. I want someone to look at my images and 1) feel an emotional response, and 2) wonder “how did she do that?”

This workshop is really special to me. It’s a treat to take the time and shoot creatively (and not just try to get what the client wants). I get to drag out all my favorite pieces of equipment and try new things while we all learn together what’s possible. It’s hands on from the start, and you’re learning with YOUR camera in your hands. We have a great list of dog models lined up (and even a few people to pose with their dogs) for us to use.

We’ll learn studio strobes, continuous light, video light, speedlites, natural light in the studio, ring lights, and every combination of the above that we feel like exploring. Many of our attendees are setting up their first studio and need to figure out what lighting system to buy for the amount of space they have available. So bring your questions and we’ll tailor our learning to the needs of the group.  But you have to sign up!  The tuition is $995 which includes lunches and snacks. Our negotiated hotel rate at the nearby Marriott is $72 per night (which includes breakfast) and rental cars are optional since once you get to the hotel, we car pool back and forth to the studio and there are 200 restaurants within walking distance (really!).

Either Dallas airport will work (DAL  or DFW)  as they are both about a 20 minute cab ride from the hotel.  American or Southwest airlines is usually the best option since they are both based in Dallas and have lots of flights in and out. We start at 2pm on Friday, July 8th so that people can even fly in that morning. We finish around 4 on Sunday afternoon.

Call the studio for more information or email me: Teresa AT Teresaberg.com

dog portrait - Mae- the beagle

What’s in your tool kit?

We all have a few tricks up our sleeves. You get in a jamb, the dog won’t cooperate, it rains, the client suddenly decides it’s a family photo session without telling you — you know, real life. I’ve said it many times. You can’t photograph pets unless you can think on the fly and think fast.

When it comes to lighting, you’re at the mercy of mother nature as well as your clients whims unless you have studio space. Let’s say for a moment you don’t have a studio. Do you know how to add supplemental light to your scene?  Do you pack back up equipment?  What if you arrive at the client’s home and they have dark red walls and dark hardwood floors and it’s a dreary day?  Can you pull it off?  A professional photographer knows what to bring (and often hopes they don’t have to use it). You can’t call yourself a pro if you only know one lighting setup!

At the very least, you need to know how to fully utilize a small portable flash. A great resource for that is The Strobist. If you’d rather learn from a book, check out The Speedlighter’s Handbook or The Hot Shoe Diaries .  And of course, there are many great free videos online on YouTube     What we hear from Unleashed attendees is “it’s so much easier to learn by DOING IT”  or “I like working in small groups so I will remember each step” but we’re just helpful by nature — so there you go.

My favorite speedlight toy, er, I mean MODIFIER, is The Mag Mod system which I saw for the first time at WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) last year.

Picture1

All of these cool silicone toys mount on to your speedlight with magnets and you can stack them — like the filters on top of the grid on top of the snoot if you want to — very quick and convenient to use.

We can talk about what we pack in to our camera bags for hours and no two photographers will agree, but as far as what tools to have right by your side during a photo shoot?  I stand by my little basket of fun (see below).  Paper towels are self-explanatory.

studio_0110.JPG If you’d like to spend a few days digging through my pile of toys, er, I mean, EQUIPMENT — join us for the Studio Shooters Unleashed workshop in July. We have six seats left.  We close the studio to the public and have a crazy indoor photographer’s shootfest with live models and backdrops and all sorts of lighting systems. It’s a great way to try before you invest a lot of money in a studio of your own. Call Teresa Berg Photography to ask questions or sign up. Tuition is $995 which includes lunches and snacks.  972-250-2415.

Portfolio Shooting in Minneapolis

We held our first Portfolio Shooting Day in Minneapolis last week — and had a GREAT time.  Even on a hot day in August we were able to set up lots of fun shots, try new lighting techniques and really focus on composition and working with our live dog models. The small group setting was perfect for lots of hands-on experimentation and our online image critique helped lock in the learning. Thanks to all who participated –and to our great models — we hope some of you will want to do the Studio Shooters Workshop next July and have fun in the studio (and air conditioning) for a change!

Unleashed portfolio shooting

Interested in a Portfolio Shooting Day in YOUR area?  Email us (see the contact page) or post your comments — we’ll see if we have enough interest and let you know!

Teresa Berg photo workshop

Portfolio Shooting in Minneapolis | Studio Shooting in Dallas

If you’re interested in moving past the basic automatic settings on your camera and taking PRO quality photographs, we have a couple of great workshops coming up this summer.

dallas dog photographer teresa berg

First, Teresa is doing some portfolio shooting in Minneapolis on August 1st (and possibly August 2nd if we have enough people interested in a second day). This is for photographers with DSLRs that know a little bit about their camera but are tired of making “snapshots”. They’re looking to add depth and interest to their compositions and expand their tool kit when it comes to lighting and posing. You don’t need to be GOING PRO, but maybe you’d like your work to look like you are?

We won’t be shooting in a studio at all — it will be outdoors, with possibly some indoors but on location, not using studio-type lighting. This type of workshop will be  great learning as we move from location to location setting up shots and getting the lighting right.  No sitting in a classroom, no business lectures, no paperwork or handouts.  We will set up shots, troubleshoot, talk about composition and lighting as we go and learn, learn, learn.  Lots of walking and lots of fun.  The cost to you is $500 per day.  Maximum of 6 people in the group shooting with live models.

Secondly, Teresa is holding her third annual Studio Shooters Unleashed at her studio in Dallas on July 10-12.  July in Dallas is a great time to stay indoors and experiment with light and all types of equipment.  Learn the ins and outs of a working studio. We’ll use anything and everything to create beautiful portraits using Teresa’s props, backdrops and equipment. All you bring is your camera. Because we have a little more time, we’ll go deeper into exposure, metering, adding people to your shots, multiple dogs, litters of puppies, using unusual props, and more.  We cater in lunches so we can maximize our time. We’ll have an optional group dinner at the end of the first day so everyone can relax and get to know each other. Cost for this two day workshop is $995. Maximum of 10 people.

 teresa berg puppy images

 I you are interested in either of these workshops, please email us at TERESA@TERESABERG.com or call the studio at 972-250-2415 and we will send you the registration email with more details. Payment in full is due when you register and is non-refundable. If you find out later that you cannot attend, you can sell your seat to another photographer, but we do not issue refunds.

You can pay via paypal, credit card or check.   Discount hotel rooms will be available in just up the street for $64 per night at the Springhill Suites Marriott. This price includes breakfast and internet!  If you’re flying in, check flights into DFW or DAL.  Southwest Airlines recently opened up many affordable flights in and out of Dallas, so check them and American Airlines.  You will not need a rental car in Dallas as we usually have plenty of drivers to shuttle people back and forth from the hotel to the studio.  Lunches and snacks are included.

So grab a seat and launch a fun summer with your camera and a four-legged friend!

Studio Shooters Unleashed with Teresa Berg

Don’t be intimidated by studio lighting! Join Teresa in a relaxed creative two and a half day adventure in photographing pets in the studio. The second annual Studio Shooters Unleashed workshop will be held in Dallas July 18-20th –and this year’s workshop has been expanded to 2 1/2 days so that we have time to cover some post processing and workflow topics. This is ALL ABOUT THE LIGHT! We will not be talking business and marketing at the class but we’ll have lots of time to work with different types of lighting. Studio mono lights, all kinds of reflectors, continuous lighting, video lights, speedlites and all sorts of equipment you might want to try. Lots of furry four-legged models and also a few people thrown in with them for those of you who need practice with two legged models.

Teresa Berg pet photography workshop
Get Unleashed in the studio this summer
Work hands-on in a small group setting and have a ton of fun with us this summer! Tuition is $900 which includes lunches and snacks. Click on the Agenda page for more details.

Dear Santa. All I want for Christmas is… a trip to Dallas?

That’s right!  We’re planning Unleashed for January 2014 in Dallas.  If you’re on the east coast and you can wait until June, we’ll still be teaching in Virginia. But for those of you that don’t mind escaping the snow for a few days in Big D, how about late January? Average temps are in the 40s and 50s with plenty of sunshine and beautiful opportunities for some crisp outdoor photography.  Three full days with two instructors –business, marketing and shooting (both indoors and out), with live models. We’ll have more information as soon as the hotel and schedules are confirmed.

Unleashed Pet photography workshops Dallas
Outdoor pet portraits in January are fun in Dallas!